To improve evidence-based policy and practice, we have undertaken research and supported others on the background and circumstances of women in the criminal justice system, as well as the impact on them.
The Bangkok Rules explicitly encourage research in particular into:
- the characteristics of women who come into contact with the criminal justice system
- why women offend
- the impact of mothers’ imprisonment on children
- the impact of imprisonment on women
- the most effective means of supporting women to build positive, self-supporting lives
Between 2013 and 2015, PRI carried out research in seven countries in four regions in order to improve the evidence-base on the characteristics of women offenders. The countries of research were: South Caucasus (Armenia and Georgia), Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan), the Middle East and North Africa (Jordan, Tunisia) and Uganda where the survey was carried out by PRI’s partner, the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative. The report findings provide important facts and figures illustrating national and regional characteristics of female offenders. A clearer picture about the female prison population should enable states and other stakeholders to identify priority areas where women offenders will benefit most from changes to law, policies and practice and will provide crucial information on the kind and design of measures needed in each country/region.
In 2016, a study was produced by Linklaters LLP for PRI which examined how women who have killed their abusers following prolonged domestic abuse are treated in law and before the courts, covering nine jurisdictions: Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Spain and the USA. The report is titled, ‘Women who kill in response to domestic violence: How do criminal justice systems respond?’
Our research methodology is available other organisations and institutions who would like to embark on similar projects. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.